Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday announced it will ban the production, sale and use of single-use plastic products from January 2020.
The decision, in light of the environmental and health hazards caused by discarding plastic after a single usage, was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The banned plastic products include carry bags irrespective of their width; plastic sheets for tables, cooling films, plates and cups; single-use plastic cups, plates, spoons, forks, straws, dishes; paper cups and plates with plastic coating; plastic flags, plastic water pouches, plastic juice packets, pet bottles under 300 ml capacity, plastic garbage bags, PVC flex materials, and plastic packets.
Plastic products for export, those used in the health sector and those made from compostable plastic are exempt from the ban.
Action will be taken under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, against those who defy the ban. District collectors, sub-divisional magistrates, officers of Pollution Control Board, local body secretaries and officers appointed by the central government under the Act have the right to take action.
There is a provision for Rs 10,000 fine for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers defying the ban. For a second offence, the fine is Rs 25,000. For a third offence, it rises to Rs 50,000 and the permit of the shop can be annulled.